Big Brother rewards people whose ideas and behavior CBS doesn’t “condone”

Here’s what happened at the end of Big Brother 15 last night:

  • The house of morons decided to keep Aaryn, because she said she’d throw the HOH competition and/or be their HOH puppet all week.
  • Aaryn won HOH.
  • Julie Chen interviewed “fan favorite Jeff Schroeder.”

Yes, within a few minutes, two people whose behavior prompted CBS to issue statements insisting the network “does not condone” that behavior–Aaryn’s racist comments, Jeff Schroeder’s insistence that gay men should be kept away from kids–got power and attention.

Aaryn’s rewards did come as a result of fair game play. It’s kind of amazing that Aaryn is now in power despite the fact that she’s disliked inside and outside the house. Also amazing: How CBS and the show’s producers tolerated her behavior–not just her language, but her bigotry-enhanced bullying–and allowed her to get to this point, whereas if she was playing the same game in another country’s version of the show, she probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get to this point.

Those who read the change to the MVP twist as the producers’/network’s attempt to rid themselves of the scourge that is Aaryn now have no evidence–or have evidence that it hilariously backfired.

Villainized by her own awful behavior and even more by the editing, which ignored others’ behavior to scapegoat her, Aaryn is the most hatable person and thus was the most likely to receive votes. That’s exactly what happened. (Julie Chen explained that Elissa received the second-most number of votes, perhaps because people thought they were still voting to give her power, or just because people don’t like her.)

Meanwhile, Julie Chen had an incredible opportunity with Jeff Schroeder, and so did he; she could have asked him about what he said while in the house, including his angry use of gay slurs, and he could have talked about what he’s learned and regrets, if he’s learned anything or regrets anything. Instead, she asked him banal questions about the game and his oh-so-cute relationship with Jordan, which we learned is still not to the level of engagement.

Julie also mostly softballed evictee Katilin, but did at least ask her, without being specific, “Why participate in ugly behavior?” Katilin said, “I think it definitely rubbed off on me” and then dismissed it all as “just a game” and said, “this game turns some people into bad eggs, but what can you do?”

No, what the game does is cast bad eggs and give them an ongoing platform and many different jobs. It also gives them power and safety for an entire week. This is your Big Brother, America. And this is what you profit from, CBS.

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.